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With customers being the lifeblood of many businesses, the importance of maintaining relationships with them cannot be overstated. This is where Account Managers and Customer Success Managers come in. Here at Salt, we have long-standing experience in finding suitable roles for Account Managers and Customer Success Managers at all levels.
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Both Account Managers and Customer Success Managers work to build relationships with clients to ensure satisfaction and retention, but their roles are slightly different. An Account Manager will manage a customer’s sales account and sell them the products and services they need. They will research a client’s company and its objectives in order to see what products and services will best help them meet those goals, and pitch these to them.
Conversely, a Customer Success Manager will onboard clients, working closely with them to address any questions or issues they have with existing products or services. They will also train clients on how to use such products—e.g. software applications—enabling businesses to run as efficiently as possible. However, although there are acute differences between the two there are many overlaps as well, meaning many job roles will contain a mix of the core tasks highlighted above.
|Customer Success Manager||£45,000 - £65,000, plus £20,000 bonus (commissioned)|
|Account Manager||£25,000 - £50,000, plus £15,000 bonus (commissioned)|
|Account Manager – IoT, Embedded||£60,000 - £80,000, OTE of £110,000|
Account Management and Customer Success roles are in huge demand. A 2018 study by LinkedIn found that Customer Success and Account Management jobs were the third and tenth most promising job roles around respectively. This is no surprise when you consider the importance of client retention to a company’s success, so those with the right skills should have no trouble securing themselves a role in these areas.
One way the Account Management landscape is being altered is through increased use of software and tools allowing direct collaboration with clients. These tools also allow for a more proactive management approach in order to identify the priority needs for individual clients as well as planning campaigns month in advance in order to add value and ensure a transparent relationship with the client.
Future prospects for Account Managers and Customer Success Managers depend massively on performance. Both have the chance to gain salary rises or promotions if their work is good, and next steps in your career path will likely lead to Account Director roles.
To flourish in an Account Management or Customer Success Management role, there are certain abilities you’ll need. For both, excellent communication skills are required, as you’ll either be pitching to clients or explaining to them how certain products work. Analytical skills are also a must, as Account Managers will be required to research into which products and services are most suitable for a client, whilst Customer Success Managers will need to analyse whether existing products should be updated or not. You’ll also need the ability to work under pressure, as well as project management skills.
Employers will want to see proven experience of working with a portfolio of accounts and a good track record of meeting targets—e.g sales targets for an Account Manager. For both roles, you should be able to show how exactly products you pitched to or educated clients on have benefited them, using figures to back these assertions up.
Make sure you comprehensively research the company you’re interviewing for—being able to outline how you’d improve their processes would be highly beneficial. You should also be prepared to answer questions on topics like previous career challenges, as well as how you go about meeting targets and managing client expectations.
A degree in business administration or a related field is usually required for most Account Manager or Customer Success Manager roles, although many do go into these positions with degrees in subjects like law and marketing. Work experience is just as crucial, however, and employers typically like to see anywhere between 1 to 5 years experience in a similar type of role.
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